Luisa from Rise of the Sourdough Preacher was our November 2014 Daring Baker hostess!. Luisa challenged us to make 6 small Paris-Brest. What a beautiful challenge!

This French pastry was created in 1910 to commemorate the Paris-Brest bicycle race that begun in 1891. Its circular shape is representative of a wheel.

I've never made Paris-Brest.  My husband was so glad to hear that it was our challenge this month. He loves this pastry.

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Thanks Luisa to challenge us to make this pâtisserie..

These Paris-Brest are so scrumptious, that I want to make more.

The vanilla flavored crème mousseline, was delicious and light. My husband and my kids would like a Paris-Brest, praline flovored. So next time, I will make the pâte à choux, and they will make the praline flavored crème mousseline. Personnaly I do not like Praline.

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Pâte à choux Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
  • 6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (100 ml) whole milk
  • 1/3 teaspoon (2 gr) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (4 gr) caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) (2-2/3 oz) (75 gr) cold butter
  • 3/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons (200 ml) (3.5 oz) (100 gr) cake flour
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • two handfulls of silvered almonds
  • egg for brushing

Directions :

  1. Preheat oven to moderate 350 degre F./180 degre C./ gas mark 4 and sift the flour.
  2. In a nonstick saucepan pour in the milk, water, sugar and salt. Add the butter in small pieces and put on medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon and bring to a boil. Add the flour in one shot to the boiling liquid. Stir vigorously with a wooden spatula. Cook on the stove on a very low heat for a few minutes, until the dough becomes firm, smooth and homogeneous. The dough must be dry and detach from the bottom of the pan easily.
  3. If you have a standup mixer pour the mixture into its bowl. With the K beater stir the mixture on low speed for a few minutes, until it cools down a little. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well on medium speed. Before adding the next egg make sure that everything is well blended. This way, the air will be incorporated into the dough and when baking it will make puff the Paris Brest which won't deflate out of the oven.
  4. If you don't have a standup mixer proceed mixing the eggs directly in the pan where you cooked the dough, after alllowing it to cool down. Work the egg with the wooden spatula until all the egg is incorporated before adding the next one.. The dough should be smooth, like a thick cream.
  5. Cover the baking sheets with baking paper or a silpat mat. If you use baking paper you can trace some circles of 4 3/4 inches (12 cm) to help you out piping the circles. I use a silpat mat that already is specially designed to help out piping, that could be helpful too. To pipe  the Paris-Brest use a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch (10 mm) plain nozzle and pipe two circles, the outer one of the diameter of the circle you drew. Pipe a third circle on top, using the star-shaped nozzle. If you don't have one use a fork to trace some lines on its surface, this will help the choux pastry to rise properly. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with silvered almonds.
  6. Bake in a moderate oven  350°F/180° C/gas mark 4 for about 23-25 minutes, in a static oven. To get rid of any moisture in the oven you can keep the door slightly open. This way the dough will dry out completely during baking. The Paris-Brest should be golden brown, with an uniform color. Let cool completely on a rack before slicing and piping with the crème mousseline.

Praliné Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) (2 oz) (60 gr) whole almonds
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) (2 oz) (60 gr) whole hazelnuts
  • 6 tablespoons (2¾ oz) (80 gm) caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water

Directions:

1. Put the sugar into a non-stick pan, over medium heat. Add water and bring to a boil.

2. When the sugar reaches 250°F/121° C (without thermometer you will need to reach the stage at which the sugar begins to boil and the syrup starts to become more and more dense), add the nuts all at once. Mix well with a wooden spoon to coat all the nuts in the sugar. At this point, the sugar will start to sand, i.e. crystallize again. Continue to stir. The sugar will melt a second time, this time caramelizing

3. Once all the nuts caramelize, remove the pan from the heat.
Pour the entire contents of the pan on a heat-resistant silicone mat or on a marble slab lightly oiled with vegetable oil.

4. Let cool completely. Break into smaller pieces and grind with a mixer until you have a thick paste.

Crème Mousseline Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) (2 oz) (55 gr) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) (2/3 oz) (20 gr) cake flour, sieved
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (135 ml) ( (4.4 oz) (125 gr)  European-style butter, made from cream, with 83% fat content
  • 3 oz (80 gr) praliné 1 vanilla pod, sliced open length wise

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan bring the milk to a boil with the vanilla pod. Put aside and let cool for about 10 minutes. In a bowl whisk the eggs yolks and sugar until they become white.

2. Add the flour and whisk until all mixed through.

3. Mix half of the milk in the egg, until all uniform. Pout into a small pan and put on medium heat. Cook until the cream thickens, stirring the cream continuously. When thick transfer into a bowl and cover with cling film touching the cream. Let cool.

4. In a bowl mix the softened butter with the praliné. Add to the cooled cream until homogeneous.

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
The baked Paris-Brest can be kept for several days in an airtight tin or can be frozen. The cream must be eaten on the same day, due to its un-pasteurized egg content. The praliné keeps several weeks, stored in a glass jar in the fridge.